Software as a Service, or SaaS, is a cloud-based method of providing application software to users over the internet. The primary highlight of this model is that applications exist on the cloud, and users can access them directly from their browsers instead of downloading and installing them.
The application software can be of any type, like productivity apps or communication apps. Likewise, users can access the SaaS application through a web browser or an application. Services like Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 are examples of popular SaaS applications.
The significant difference between SaaS and having an actual software installation can be explained by the following example. If you watch a TV show, you have two options: buy and store the show on DVD or pay for an OTT platform. Having physical copies of the show requires you to maintain the DVD and its compatible hardware. However, you only need an internet connection to watch the TV show on an OTT platform. In a nutshell, OTT platforms are a part of Software as a Service. In the end, they provide a service, that is, the ability to watch shows over the internet.
SaaS applications exist on the cloud. But, what is the “cloud” exactly? Cloud refers to remote web servers that exist in data centers provided by hosting providers. In other words, it’s a remote computer that exists along with several different computers to host SaaS applications and more.
Advantages of SaaS applications
While everything has its advantages and disadvantages, the advantages of SaaS outweigh the disadvantages. It provides various benefits to both clients, users, and providers. Here’s a brief list of the advantages of using Software as a Service application.
- Easier accessibility: The ability to run SaaS applications from an internet browser makes it easier to access when compared to actual applications.
- Updates and changes: In the case of SaaS applications, the SaaS provider manages updates and patches and users don’t need to worry about anything.
- Scalability: If the application requires better hardware or add-ons, the SaaS provider handles the scaling up of the application.
- Cost reduction: While using applications based on Software as a Service, there is no need for users to pay for IT and infrastructural costs. Hence, the only cost that remains is to pay for the service.